Announcing the Retirement of PASO Program Director Minerva Gonzalez
After more than 45 years of dedicated service to underserved communities, Minerva Gonzalez retired from CSUSM on June 30. She leaves behind a tremendous legacy created through her passion and commitment for student success throughout her many years of service, including 20 years at CSUSM. She is a beloved colleague, mentor and friend to many.
Minerva’s experiences as first-generation, low-income, English second language learner and immigrant shaped her educational, professional development and trajectory, resulting in a strong commitment to serve her community and to help students access college opportunities. Upon completing a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Chicano studies from Cal State Northridge and a master’s degree in public administration from Cal State LA, Minerva embarked on a career in student services in which she demonstrated boundless energy and professional commitment to develop and increase opportunities for underserved students to be successful at every stage of their educational journey.
Before joining the CSUSM community, Minerva served as a director and assistant dean for federal and state programs at various higher educational institutions, where she worked closely with K-12 schools and created policies and programs to support student success.
At CSUSM, Minerva was innovative in her approach to establishing highly impactful programs such as the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) in 2002 and the Title V Pathways to Academic Success and Opportunities (PASO) program in 2015. Both programs focus on remediation efforts and developing cultural awareness, self-esteem, motivation and leadership skills while providing intensive support systems that are designed for college retention and graduation success, including communities of learners and group study, financial aid instruction and parent outreach components.
Her career highlights include serving as president on the BECA Foundation board in collaboration with the CSUSM Latino Association of Faculty and Staff; serving as president on the North County Latinas Association, which sponsored the Adelante Mujer conference from 2002-2012; serving as the inaugural CAMP director in 2002 and securing five consecutive federal funding cycles lasting through 2025; serving as the inaugural Title V PASO director in 2015 and creating cultural validation initiatives in partnership with Academic Affairs and Student Affairs; securing $15 million in federal funding for CAMP and Title V programs in addition to securing $150,000 in private funding for students and outreach events; and receiving the President's Award for Inclusive Excellence and Diversity in 2014.
Minerva has been a champion and advocate for systemic change for Latinx students throughout her professional career. Join us in celebrating and honoring her lifetime work and contributions at her grand sendoff retirement event, which will take place on July 28 from 4-6:30 p.m. at the McMahan House. We ask that you submit your RSVP here by July 5.